Tunstead residents urged to get behind village hall project after scheme misses out on Lottery funding

Residents in a north Norfolk village that has been without a 'proper' community hall for more than 40 years are being urged to help see through a project to reinstate the important facility.

Tunstead's original village hall - which was built with donations from returning war heroes in the 1950s - was demolished in 1971, and since then residents have had to put up with a drab mobile unit for club meetings and activities.

Planning permission has been granted to build a new fit for purpose hall complete with bar, hall, meeting room and toilets but the scheme suffered a blow earlier this month when a six-figure application to the Big Lottery Fund to kick start the project was rejected.

Residents are now being urged by campaigner Peter Tye to throw their weight behind the scheme to help with further funding applications and drive the project forward.

Mr Tye, who has led the hall campaign for several years, said: 'It's up to the village really to get behind it, 74pc of them answered a (parish) questionnaire and said they wanted a village hall, well now they have to do something about it really.'

The unit on the recreation ground that currently serves as the village hall was previously used on gas rigs in the North Sea but its leaky roof, weak floor and lack of toilets means it cannot be used by many groups and is forcing residents in search of activities elsewhere.

'We can't have dance classes and lots of other things happening there because we don't have the correct facilities,' Mr Tye added. 'Tunstead centre is empty because there isn't a village hall and everybody gets pulled out to surrounding villages for functions.'

Most Read

The proposed new hall would stand in place of - and incorporate - the existing sports changing rooms that are also housed in a mobile unit, and is expected to cost �400,000.

But Mr Tye thought this price could be driven down as people have offered to help with the construction and plans for free.

'The footballers have always said they would help with foundations and laying mesh for the parking area. Those sort of things would bring that figure down,' he added.

'It will bring people back into the centre of the village and bring back a true community spirit. It's quite a big village and quite spread out and it needs something to drag people back into the middle.'

? If you can help with the hall project or would like to get involved call Mr Tye on 01692 535047 or email him via petergtye@gmail.com

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter